Rehabilitation treatment of gait in patients with Parkinson's disease with freezing: a comparison between two physical therapy protocols using visual and auditory cues with or without treadmill training.

Department of Physical Therapy, Scientific Institute of Montescano, S. Maugeri Foundation IRCCS, Montescano, Italy.
Movement Disorders (Impact Factor: 5.63). 05/2009; 24(8):1139-43. DOI: 10.1002/mds.22491
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Freezing is a disabling symptom in patients with Parkinson's disease. We investigated the effectiveness of a new rehabilitation strategy based on treadmill training associated with auditory and visual cues. Forty Parkinsonian patients with freezing were randomly assigned to two groups: Group 1 underwent a rehabilitation program based on treadmill training associated with auditory and visual cues, while Group 2 followed a rehabilitation protocol using cues and not associated with treadmill. Functional evaluation was based on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale Motor Section (UPDRS III), Freezing of Gait Questionnaire (FOGQ), 6-minute walking test (6MWT), gait speed, and stride cycle. Patients in both the groups had significant improvements in all variables considered by the end of the rehabilitation program (all P = 0.0001). Patients treated with the protocol including treadmill, had more improvement than patients in Group 2 in most functional indicators (P = 0.007, P = 0.0004, P = 0.0126, and P = 0.0263 for FOGQ, 6MWT, gait speed, stride cycle, respectively). The most striking result was obtained for 6MWT, with a mean increase of 130 m in Group 1 compared with 57 m in Group 2. Our results suggest that treadmill training associated with auditory and visual cues might give better results than more conventional treatments. Treadmill training probably acts as a supplementary external cue.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disease characterized by bradykinesia, tremor, rigidity, and postural instability. Motor disorders are composite and combined, adversely affecting the patient's health. Tremor and rigidity are correlated with worsening manual dexterity as well as postural changes such as akinesia and camptocormia. Moreover, gait alteration as well as postural instability, with consequent impairment in balance, increase the risk of falls. It is well known that these symptoms respond poorly to pharmacologic therapy in PD patients. Physical therapy is the most effective non-pharmacological aid to PD patients. Available data in the literature indicate that any rehabilitation protocol has to focus on: cognitive movement strategies, cueing strategies, and improved physical capacity and balance. Different training programs for PD patients have been designed and evaluated but only specific training strategies, tailored and individualized for each patient, may produce improvements in gait speed and stride length, decrease motor and balance symptoms and improve quality of life. Furthermore, aerobic training may improve muscle trophism, strength and mobility. It seems reasonable to state that tailored physical activity is a valid tool to be included in the therapeutic program of PD patients, considering that this approach may ameliorate the symptoms as well as the overall physical incapacity, reduce the risk of falls and injuries, and ultimately improve quality of life.
    World journal of methodology. 09/2014; 4(3):133-43.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Virtual reality (VR) in neurorehabilitation allows to reduce patient's risk and allows him to learn on a faster way. Up to now VR has been used in patients with Parkinson disease (PD) as a research tool and none of the developed systems are used in clinical practice. The goal of this project is to develop a VR-based system for gait therapy, and gait research of patients with PD designed based on published evidence. The developed system uses a digital camera to measure spatiotemporal gait parameters. The software was developed in C#, using Open-Source libraries that facilitates VR programming. The system has potential uses in clinical and research settings.
    07/2014; 66(Supl. 1):S39-S47.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: SUMMARY Falls in people with Parkinson's disease (PD) are frequent and recurrent events with devastating and widespread consequences. Despite this, understanding of the predictive and explanatory value of fall risk factors, as well as the development and testing of interventions aimed at reducing falls, are in their infancy. This review focuses on fall prediction and risk factors that are potentially remediable with physical interventions. We show that falls can be predicted with high accuracy using a simple three-step clinical tool. Evidence from recently published randomized controlled trials supports the implementation of balance-challenging exercises in reducing falls. Larger scale trials utilizing technologically advanced monitoring methods will further elucidate those interventions most likely to be cost effective according to individual risk factor profiles.
    Neurodegenerative disease management. 06/2014; 4(3):203-21.

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 19, 2014